Make every click count!

Straight North is an Internet marketing agency specializing in SEO, PPC and responsive websites. We help firms increase sales leads and e-commerce revenue.

Our core service is SEO. We have helped hundreds of clients improve organic search visibility since 1997. We are the only SEO company that validates and reports all sales leads from phone and forms.

Call us today: 855-264-8969

 
$1,000+
 
$100 - $149 / hr
 
50 - 249
 Founded
1997
Show all +
Chicago, IL
headquarters
  • Straight North
    211 W Upper Wacker Dr, Suite 1800
    Chicago, IL 60606
    United States
other locations
  • Straight North
    615 S College St.
    Charlotte, NC 28202
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Chicago Bears, Hub Group, Harvard, AutoDesk, Lava Lamp, Amdocs, Daily Herald, IDEX, Association of Legal Administrators, Pro Stock Hockey

Earthwise Environmental

http://www.earthwiseenvironmental.com/

MicroTek

https://www.mclabs.com/

Cisco Athletic

http://www.ciscoathletic.com/

House of Doolittle

http://www.houseofdoolittle.com/

Microfluidics

https://www.microfluidicscorp.com/

Mowery & Schoenfeld

https://www.msllc.com/

Reviews

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SEO, PPC, & Content Marketing for Retained Search Firm

"They are quite ambitious—they aim to outperform themselves every month."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
May 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North organizes SEO campaigns to increase organic traffic and drive leads. Although they briefly provided PPC services, the current focus remains blog and content development and tracking analytics.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
St. Louis, Missouri
Julie Pinkston
COO, Grant Cooper
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Straight North’s thorough market research and bright keyword interpretation made for successful organic traffic and paid advertising campaigns. Their inclusive project management approach ensured seamless communication. They are accountable and provide a number of services other firms cannot.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the COO of Grant Cooper, which is a retained search firm.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

We recently rebranded our company and transferred our website to WordPress, and we wanted to optimize our new site. We contracted with Straight North to organize our SEO efforts and introduce us to paid advertising, as well.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We transferred all of our SEO practices from a different vendor over to Straight North and added PPC to our agreement. We relied on them to earn us higher ranks for different keywords. We have nine different areas of expertise, so Straight North researched which keywords tied to those areas.

Further, we were attracted to Straight North because of their ability to develop content, which our previous firm didn’t have the capacity for. Straight North created backlinks for our site, and they developed infographics and other content to better optimize our webpages. They also built out a section of our site for blog content, which they will contribute to for the next six months.

Another firm in our space utilizes paid advertising, and we realized we were being circumvented by their ads, which spurred our decision to explore that tactic, as well. Our paid campaign featured display ads and PPC ads.

What is the team composition?

Our account manager, Caitlin, has been our point of contact throughout the project. We love working with her.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

Our SEO firm prior to Straight North produced modest results, but we were uncomfortable with other aspects of their business. We wanted our partner to be more reliable and accountable. We conducted an online search and found Straight North. We were impressed with their website and reached out to them. They were one of four vendors we considered, and we felt they would be best for the job.

How much have you invested with them?

At one point, we were spending about $3,000 a month in management fees for the SEO and PCC campaigns. During that time, we paid between $3,000-$5,000 for the paid ads. We have since transferred our entire budget to the SEO campaign.

What is the status of this engagement?

Our engagement began in May 2017 and is ongoing. The paid ads returned promising results, but when we analyzed all of our leads, we realized that the most fruitful leads and the leads that were the most important to us were generated by organic search. We currently work with Straight North only for SEO and content development.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We have experienced record months for leads through our website because of Straight North’s involvement. We have already landed an organic client whose work has covered the amount spent with Straight North to date. Through seven months in 2018, we’ve seen 50 leads.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

They earn very high marks in that regard. Caitlin, our project manager, is very responsive. I never have to follow up with her to determine where we stand, which I have not found to always be the case in this industry. They are very accountable and keep tasks moving forward so that I don’t have to micromanage. We have monthly meetings to review our reports, and we’re in communication throughout the month as necessary.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Based on my experience with other firms, project management is their strength. They are quite ambitious—they aim to outperform themselves every month. And they are versatile in that they have the ability to produce marketing pieces, and they have writers on staff to fulfill a number of tasks we may need. Not a lot of firms can offer that.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No. They have been quick to problem-solve when something goes awry. For example, our Google Analytics metrics stopped tracking for a short time as a result of a Google problem. Straight North corrected it and took measures to implement a failsafe to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

Any advice for potential customers?

Each side should set expectations for the other side at the beginning of the engagement. Straight North is happy to have us be involved as much as we are, but not all firms are the same in that regard, nor do all companies in our position want to be hands-on. It’s important to set ground rules for both sides.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

SEO Campaign for Online Canvas Seller

"Our site traffic is four times higher than it was last year."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Jul. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North provides SEO services, including keyword research, backlinks, and creating website content.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Phoenix, Arizona
Owner, Canvas Vows
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The number of visitors and the search rankings have increased markedly since Straight North was first engaged. Their consistent communication, responsiveness, and ability to work within strict budget parameters justify the investment and make them a valuable partner.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the owner of Canvas Vows. We make personalized canvases, which are printed in-house and shipped ready to hang.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

We needed to get our website ranked higher for relevant keywords. We want people to find our site when they’re searching for custom artwork and custom home decor.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We started by giving them a brief overview of the company and our target market. They did their own keyword research, and made a few new suggestions. They also confirmed some of the keywords we were already targeting were correct. Together we agreed on a list of the top 10–15 products to target. The list is based on the strength of the keywords and how much competition there is for each one. They also created backlinks and website content to support the SEO strategy.

What is the team composition?

Our account lead is my primary contact.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

I did a lot of research, and worked with a couple of other companies. Straight North kept showing up in my Google search so I decided to give them a call.

How much have you invested with them?

We started at $2,000 a month, which was all we could afford at the time. They were very willing to work with me on the budget. We recently increased our spend to $3,000 dollars a month.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in July 2017 and the engagement is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Our site traffic is four times higher than it was last year. SEMrush estimates we had only 93 views a day in August 2017. In August 2018, that number has grown to 386 views a day. A big reason we increased our budget with them was because of that uptick. They continue to push things forward in order to get the site ranked up near my competitors.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

My account lead is excellent. She responds really fast and gives me an update every month. They describe the way they use their time in action steps, and they share those action steps every month. That includes what they’ve worked on in the past month, and how many action steps (e.g. backlinks or web content) they completed.

Every once a while, she’ll email me with ideas they can implement to boost our site. She always answers my questions within the day. It makes me feel good about where my money is going.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They’re very knowledgeable about SEO, and I'm trying to learn as much as I can. It’s been helpful to have a partner that I can ask all of my questions. I've never been left dissatisfied by their answers. They help me understand why they're doing things a certain way.

Any advice for potential customers?

Do the work upfront before starting the keyword research. Making sure you understand your target market really well. That will give Straight North a better starting point to do their research, and bring their creativity to the table.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Their costs are pretty standard, if not a little less.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    I have no complaints.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would definitely recommend them.

SEO & PPC Campaigns for Startup Shipping Company

"They have coached me to better understand their work so that I can better explain it to our leadership."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Sept. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North coordinates SEO and PCC campaigns to increase organic traffic and sales. Straight North conducts research to determine successful markets and develops strategies to influence online visibility.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Marketing Manager, Shipping Startup
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Straight North’s involvement increased online traffic and business opportunities, creating a successful engagement. Straight North features thorough researchers and talented strategists that combine their efforts to craft strong solutions. They are accessible partners that are eager to help.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the marketing manager for a shipping startup. We are a less-than-truckload online shipping exchange. We offer consumer and commercial shipping solutions.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

We contracted with Straight North to assist with our online marketing efforts, including SEO and PPC campaigns.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We explained our business model and who we were targeting. They took it upon themselves to do the research behind which markets would perform the best and which pages we needed to be seen on. Once a strategy was in place, they orchestrated our organic search and paid advertising campaigns.

What is the team composition?

We worked with the director of sales operations and a pair of project managers.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

I found them through a Google search, and they were among the 10 SEO and PPC vendors I vetted to determine the best fit. They submitted the best pitch, making us comfortable enough to move forward with them.

How much have you invested with them?

Our total for their SEO services is around $5,000. Our total PPC costs have increased from $2,000 a month at the start of our engagement to about $10,000 a month now.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started utilizing their services in September 2017, and the work is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We have certainly addressed certain matters on our end, but Straight North’s efforts have made us a more visible option in the marketplace. Prior to their involvement, in September 2017, we averaged about 68 users a month, and we had no shipments that month. In July 2018, we had 1,200 unique visitors, and in June 2018, we had 69 shipments. We’re still very new, but relative to what we experienced before, we’ve seen a significant increase in our traffic and our business.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

Whenever I am asked to provide answers to our CEO, I can get those answers usually within a few hours but always by the end of the day. I really appreciate their responsiveness.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I don’t have a background in SEO, so they explain to me their processes and their rationale. If I have questions regarding Google Analytics, they tell me how to find my answers and what my answers reflect. They have coached me to better understand their work so that I can better explain it to our leadership.

Are there any areas they could improve?

When we first started, our campaigns were more geared toward the consumer market, which is our secondary target audience behind the commercial. That was one thing we had to readjust so that we could better connect with smaller business shippers.

Any advice for potential customers?

From the initial meeting, it is important that both sides have a clear set of expectations.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Organic SEO Campaigns for E-Commerce Website

"We’re depending on them and their knowledge in this industry, and the insight they’ve given us has been very useful."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
n/a
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Oct. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North crafts SEO strategies for different sales campaigns to increase organic traffic to an e-commerce site. They provide diagnostic assessments and offer suggestions to increase visibility.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Baltimore, Maryland
Operations Director, E-Commerce Site
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The number of unique visitors to the site has risen since the start of Straight North’s involvement, and organic sales have increased, as well. Straight North features an attentive and intelligent team driven toward determining the most successful digital strategies.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the operations director of an e-commerce website.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

We run a different campaign on the site every three weeks, which necessitated the need for an SEO company. We wanted to increase the organic traffic to these campaigns.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They coordinated a full diagnostic assessment of our site and immediately provided suggestions, including having all pages receive https certification and changing images to improve site speed. Over time, they addressed our goal of increasing organic traffic.

What is the team composition?

We worked almost exclusively with our account manager.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

Our company worked with them in the past and was familiar with their work.

How much have you invested with them?

We spend about $2,000 per month for their services.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in October 2017, and the work is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Within the first month, we saw a jump in sales. In each following month, we continued to grow, and we outperformed our sales from the same month the year before. They increased our traffic from maybe 2,000–4,000 unique visitors per month to almost 10,000 per month.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

We reference the in-house tools they use to track their progress. They communicate well and keep us informed. From the beginning, we requested biweekly calls so that we could be involved in the process, and they have been fully accommodating.

What did you find most impressive about them?

We’re depending on them and their knowledge in this industry, and the insight they’ve given us has been very useful.

Are there any areas they could improve?

We’d always like to reach our goals faster, but we understand this is a project that requires patience.

Any advice for potential customers?

Our approach has been to be as open and communicative as we can be, and I think we’ve been successful that way.

5.0
Overall Score We are very happy to be working with them.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We have never been concerned about them missing a deadline.
  • N/A Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They are performing really well.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would absolutely recommend them.

Website Redesign & Digital Marketing for Software Firm

“The end result perfectly matched what we wanted. Working with them has been a great experience.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
June 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North redesigned an existing website, integrating Mailchimp and Intercom into the interface. They currently manage digital marketing, including SEO, PPC, and online copy.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Paul Hadfield
Co-Founder, Revzi
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Straight North followed project requirements and consistently sought feedback to improve performance. The website is sleek and professional, attracting new clients and expanding the business. The team’s variety of talent means they can work on virtually any project in any stage.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the co-founder of Revzi. We provide software to small businesses to help them capture customer, product, and staff data to grow their sales.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

We were initially looking for a company to refine our brand and develop a new website.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We gave Straight North direct access to our website, and they did an entire overhaul and numerous revisions. They also work on SEO and PPC, as well as banner ad displays that we’ll soon launch. They’ve done a variety of tasks, including writing and refining our content and creating customer-facing marketing pieces. Both Mailchimp and Intercom are integrated into the site. The design work is mainly finished, and now Straight North is working on just a few smaller projects.

What is the team composition?

The project manager was our primary contact. I also had several meetings with their whole team, which consists of a designer, content writer, and a few others.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

We found them online. Their sales process was easy, they’d worked with companies like ours before, and they seemed professional and trustworthy.

How much have you invested in them?

We’ve spent about $40,000 so far.

What is the status of this engagement?

We’ve been working with Straight North since June 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Due to the professional look of the site, our sales team has already been able to book more meetings with prospective clients.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

We maintain contact through their custom GoNorth platform, in-person meetings, and ZoomInfo conference calls. They’re easy to reach and work with. They always make sure they’re meeting our goals, and they welcome constructive criticism and feedback.

What did you find most impressive about them?

The end result perfectly matched what we wanted. Working with them has been a great experience.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, I don’t think so.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

They’re a flexible firm. Potential clients can come with a rough idea or a full plan, and Straight North will be able to execute on it. They have a large team with a vast array of business experience, so they can work on any phase of your project.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Everything was on schedule, and their availability was great. They were very amenable to the changes we made.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They aren't the cheapest, but it was a great value.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would highly recommend them.

SEO Consulting for Set of Brand Sites

"Our Westfalia USA website has seen an increase in organic traffic of 56% year over year.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Dec. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North provided SEO services for three websites, including content strategy, blogs and webpage content, keyword services, etc. They continue to maintain and monitor site performance.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
York, Pennsylvania
Morgan Williams
Marketing Design Specialist, Westfalia Technology
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The websites have seen a significant increase in organic traffic since Straight North started. Their detailed analytics reports continue to prove the value of their services. Additionally, their customer attention and support is fantastic, making them a pleasure to work with.  

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the marketing design specialist at Westfalia Technologies, Inc. We are a leading provider of automated storage and automated parking systems in the America’s.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

We needed help boosting our SEO and overall website performance, and we were dissatisfied with the results of our previous vendor.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

At first, Straight North's team assisted with the content for one of our websites, but eventually worked on all three under our umbrella.

For one of the sites, for example, they have an account team that works on strategy and a writer who creates blogs and updates content on various pages with our keywords. Across the board, they've helped improve SEO for each site, rewriting content and restructuring the overall layout and navigation of pages as needed. More recently, they've provided SEO services for a website that has more of an international audience.

They also pull quarterly reports analyzing how our sites are performing compared to our competitors.

What is the team composition?

Initially, we worked mostly with Carolyn Goettsch (Director of Client Services, Straight North). After she was promoted, we started working with Caitlin Munchel (Account Manager, Straight North). They've both been great.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

I wasn't originally involved in the selection process, but I believe someone on our team chose to work with Straight North based on research of the quality of their work and the types of customers they'd worked with previously.

How much have you invested with them?

We spend about $4,500 on a monthly basis for current services for two websites.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in December 2016 and continue to collaborate.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Since going live Q4 of 2016, our Westfalia parking site, our Westfalia USA website has seen an increase in organic traffic of 56% year over year. Since going live last year, our Westfalia parking site has increased an average of 42% each month.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

Their team is very helpful and friendly. They're always willing to explain any questions we may have in detail, providing any additional reporting on certain requests as needed.

Caitlin and I touch base through monthly calls to go through their custom reporting dashboard, GoNorth, which shows us an overview of how our websites are performing, what leads are coming in through web forms, etc. That's incredibly helpful in understanding the value of the work that they're doing for us.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Our account manager, Caitlin, has been wonderful to work with. She answers any questions I have thoroughly and promptly. She's even visited the office and sat down with me one-on-one. That personal touch is very important to us—their team is just a good match for us.

Are there any areas they could improve?

It would be helpful to have a more detailed strategic end goal in mind, but overall there's not too much that I'd change about their approach.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Provide as much detail as you can and make sure to ask any questions you may have. Since each business is unique, the more detail you can provide them, the better the service will be.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Their services can be a big investment initially, but it's worth it over time.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Overall, they're great. I'd just like to see a bit more strategic planning.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Website Redesign, SEO & PPC for Investigator

“Whenever I have a question or concern, they're available to answer or resolve it.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Aug. 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

To combat a lag in the economy, Straight North assisted with SEO and PPC efforts to generate new leads. The team conducted a complete website redesign, and improved the corresponding mobile app.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Northbrook, Illinois
Nikki Strahinic
President, Arkus Inc
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Instating a regular blogging schedule helped drive web traffic to the site. The project lead is enjoyable to work with, consistently available, and offers useful input that improves the project. Recently, the company signed another annual contract with Straight North, and highly recommends them.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the president of a private investigation agency that works with businesses, attorneys, and private individuals. I supervise staff, read reports before they’re sent out, and am responsible for the website and health insurance.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

Business had gotten a bit slow due to the economy, and we wanted to increase the number of calls we received from the internet. Business was lagging with our established clients, so we needed new leads. We had been using a company for SEO and PPC work, but were not satisfied with the results we were getting.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Straight North initially worked on PPC, and then focused their efforts on SEO. They aimed to increase our traffic using blog posts. Our previous vendor had posted very sporadically, and the team indicated that a consistent posting schedule would yield the best results for Google searches.

In 2017, they executed a total redesign of our website. They also improved our app, a mobile version of the website, which hadn’t been working well previously. After describing how it needed to be changed, they executed the necessary steps. Currently, they are continuing to monitor keywords.

What is the team composition?

Our rep was my main contact on a weekly basis. When I worked on the website with Ann Rickerman-Hambry, she was very responsive. In addition, a couple supervisors helped jumpstart the project for both the website and app.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

I found Straight North via a web search for companies proficient in SEO services. After I assessed their ratings and compared them to some other vendors, we decided to hire them.

How much have you invested with them?

We spend $2,000 a month on their services. They agreed to do the website for $5,000 if I signed up for another year contract.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in August 2015, and our engagement is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Instating a regular posting schedule helped drive traffic to our site. Improving the mobile app was a critical effort, since so many of our users prefer to access content via their phones, rather than computers.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

Our main point of contact did a great job, and we really liked working with him. He was always available and had a lot of input that improved our project. We mostly communicate via email. They send us monthly reports that link to a platform where I can view the status of our PPC and SEO efforts. I have the option to print this data on our monthly progress, or view it digitally.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They've done well in general, and have been responsive to my needs. Whenever I have a question or concern, they're available to answer or resolve it.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I asked one individual a question four times and never received a response. We wanted to be able to differentiate between phone calls that came from their team, or from Yelp. I recently received an email from a new staff member, who might be handling the account from now on in her stead.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    $2,000 seems high to me at times when I'm unclear on the specific work that's being performed, so maybe we could come down in the price.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would definitely recommend them.

Website Redesign and SEO Services for Chemical Company

“[T]hey're always developing new ways to drive more people to the site.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Jan. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North redesigned a website and created an SEO and PPC strategy to drive traffic and increase leads. They also provide a dashboard to track metrics and allow frequent updating of keyword targets.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Melrose Park, Illinois
Carly Lambert
Customer Service, Enviro Tech International
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The website performs significantly better in Google search rankings for key products, resulting in eight verified leads per month. Superior responsiveness sets them apart from other providers, along with the ability to communicate technical details in an easy to understand manner.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Enviro Tech manufactures degreasing solvents for different sectors. I process orders and invoices, as well as help out with social media and the website.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

Our website was pretty rudimentary. We weren’t happy with the team we were using to manage the site, so we were looking to switch to a new firm.

SOLUTION

What is the scope of their involvement?

Straight North did a total overhaul of our website and built out our blog. They also took over all of our search engine optimization [SEO] and pay-per-click [PPC] efforts. They bid on leads for words within Google and other search engines to help drive more traffic to our site. They targeted our key products and markets, and established a tracking system so that we can see the viable leads that come through each month. They’ll establish a target goal—such as getting X many leads or having Y ad in the top spot on Google—and develop new targets as soon as each goal is reached. 

What is the team composition?

Caitlin [account manager, Straight North] has a team that does advertising and design, and then another team that does research on the leads and verifies them. I'm not sure how many people are on each team but all of our communication goes through her.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

I'm not sure because I wasn't part of that process.

How much have you invested with them?

It’s about $44,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

Work began in January 2017 and is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Previously the only way to find our site on Google was to type in the company’s name because we didn’t show up in searches for key products. Now we're on the first page of results when you search keywords such as vapor degreaser. Since we launched the new site, we have about eight leads per month that are verified in terms of orders coming through or we're starting to work with them.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

They perform really well. Caitlin is great and really has a handle on everything going on with our account. We do a phone conference with her once a month and then she gives us updates on projects in the interim over email. Occasionally some projects take a little longer than planned but she’s pretty good about letting us know upfront.

Straight North created a dashboard in the admin section of our website that shows all the site and lead metrics. We can access it any time to see the data, but Caitlin also sends us a monthly report that includes a summary of how we’re doing and her recommendations for the next month. Then our team provides feedback or any changes we want to make.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I've worked with other companies and they were all slow to respond to requests. It could take a month just to update one thing on the website. With the last company we used, we didn’t have access to the backend of the site to make simple changes. With Straight North, we have the ability to go in and change things ourselves. If we do send them a request, we get a response within 24 hours and the site is quickly updated. I also really like that they're always developing new ways to drive more people to the site.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I don't think so. Honestly, I'm pretty happy with working with them.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Talk over any concerns with your project manager because they're great at explaining everything in detail. We didn't know all the steps that go into verifying leads and moving up on Google and Caitlin did a great job explaining that to us.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Most of our projects are done on time.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We see the monthly breakdown and it's definitely worth it for us.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    We can see leads coming in so what they’re doing definitely works.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Email Marketing Consulting for Professional Events Company

“[Our project manager] was extremely helpful and really seemed to understand our business goals.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
June 2017 - Jan. 2018
Project summary: 

Straight North provided a variety of marketing consultation services including email strategy, marketing automation, and SEO. They also helped to create a marketing calendar for deployment.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Humboldt, Iowa
Bri Berte
Marketing Director, EFM Events
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The client had a single point of contact that took a proactive approach to learning about the company and its target audience. Improvements to email subject headings and verbiage according to best practices yielded a 30% increase in open rates.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

My name is Bri Berte, and I’m the marketing director at EFM Events. We host one-day IT symposiums throughout the U.S.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

We were looking for a company that could help to strengthen and redirect our marketing campaign to increase visibility for attendees and sponsors.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Straight North provided marketing consultation services and helped us to build a marketing calendar to keep track of our deployment schedule. We created new strategies around press releases and emails, including the implementation of a new marketing automation system. They originally suggested going with Campaign Monitor, which we had already been considering prior to the engagement, but we ended up getting a great deal on Pardot through Salesforce. They also walked us through best practices on SEO/email marketing, while helping us to hone in on understanding our target audience and how to reach them more effectively.

What is the team composition?

I had an introductory meeting with an account executive to start off the engagement and then worked with Natalie [Project Manager, Straight North] for the project itself.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

We started with a simple Google search and after reading several reviews, we decided to go with them. They’re also located in Chicago and we’re based in Iowa, so we’re relatively close to one another.

How much have you invested with them?

Approximately $10,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in June, and our contract has just ended.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

After scrubbing our email lists to remove soft/hard bounces, we worked with them to improve our subject headings and verbiage according to best practices. These improvements have led to a 30% increase in open rates, and our click rates have started to increase as well.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

It was very nice to work with Natalie throughout the project because I didn’t have to retell our story. She was extremely helpful and really seemed to understand our business goals. We communicated primarily via phone and email, as well as webinars for screen sharing when necessary. She also had me send her team PDF files with emails that we had written so they could track changes and send them back.

What did you find most impressive about them?

We really appreciated the fact that they didn’t have us working with a whole team. Natalie understood our specialized market and took the time to learn about our company at the beginning of the engagement. She did her own research and learned about the audience we were trying to reach. This really stood out to me because I didn’t have to keep explaining myself.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Not that I can think of. They did a wonderful job, and we plan to reach out to them for any further adjustments to our marketing strategy as we move forward.

Advice for potential customers?

Make sure that you have a goal in mind. If you express that goal clearly, Straight North will be able to accomplish it.

5.0
Overall Score They did an excellent job and I plan to work with them in the future.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    I’m a very detail-oriented person, and they kept us on track.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

SEO for Independent Landlord Support Service

“Their team has managed to get us on page 1, if not the top placement, for some of our keywords.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Oct. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North used backlink building, content production, and additional enhancements on existing web pages to improve organic keyword performance.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Los Angeles Metro Area
Vice President, Real Estate Services Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The most competitive keyword is now ranked no. 1 in Google results, while previously poorly performing terms are now on the first two pages. Straight North’s team is thorough, efficient, and responsive, providing valuable feedback when needed.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the vice president for an independent landlord support company. We provide tenant screening services and forms, webinars, and other types of assistance to landlords.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

We were looking to improve our SEO position on a number of different keywords. Previous vendors had proven unsuccessful in improving our keyword rankings.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

In addition to SEO services, Straight North helped with backlink building, content production, and provided feedback on new or existing pages. (The design of our website was already in place.)

What is the team composition?

We mostly just work with one project lead, Jess.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

We found them through a Google search and, after speaking to them, decided to give them a shot. We had tried a number of other vendors prior to Straight North for many years.

How much have you invested with them?

We were spending about $5,000 per month, but we believe in them so much that we just increased our spend to about $7,000 per month.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them around October, 2016 and have continued the relationship.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We're very happy with them, especially with the progress of our keyword results. We've had one specific, highly competitive keyword that their team has been able to make #1 in Google search rankings. Other keywords that weren't previously placing well have now moved up to the first couple of pages.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

They're very thorough. We have weekly status calls with their team and they also provide monthly reports detailing all projects.

They communicate using their own project management software, GoNorth Reporting, which provides us a detailed report of all our keywords and linkbacks. It also updates us on how many points we're using under their system and what articles are in progress.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They're able to do what they say they can do. Their team has managed to get us on page 1, if not the top placement, for some of our keywords.

I also appreciate Jess's communication; she's great at staying on top of things.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, they're great.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Be patient. Climbing the rankings takes time—it's not an overnight process.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer